Jordan Kipper, Right-Handed Pitcher
HT : 6'4
WT : 185 lb.
DOB : October 6, 1992, Phoenix, AZ
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : Texas Christian University (Fort Worth, TX)
Acquired : Drafted 9th round (269th overall) of 2014 June Draft
Stock : Rising
Cool Notes : Grandfather, Thornton, played in MLB for four seasons / High School and College teammate of Kevin Cron, C.J.'s brother
Jordan Kipper grew up under the wings of great baseball minds, his family. Bruce, Jordan's father, coached him through his pre-college career, and his grandfather, Thornton, helped. Thornton, who helped win a college World Series with Wisconsin in 1950. Jordan used this help to excel him to professional baseball. Kipper was drafted twice, before finally signing with the Angels when he was taken this past draft and has torn through the lower levels of the Los Angeles Angels farm system.
Kipper has a gift that came from genetics, and that's his body. That may have sounded a little weird, but Kipper has the perfect pitchers body, with a good height of six-foot-four, and has the right muscle, allowing him to stay smooth and athletic by nature.
Kipper's best pitch is his sinker fastball. It has good movement, and is a natural sinker, rather than two-seam with run. This pitch sits in the 88-93 MPH range, and with his added velocity and physical growth into his young body, could pick up a few ticks as he moves forward.
Kipper's off-speed offer is a slider that sits in the low to mid 80's. It has late break, and has been utlitized well against right-handed bats. It has swing and miss potential.
Where Kipper shines is his ability to throw strikes with his highlight pitches. He commands these pitches well, and has no trouble finding the zone if needed to get to the point of setting himself up to put a batter away.
Kipper throws a third and fourth pitch, but has shyed away from his changeup since taking over a relief-only role. He still has it in his arsenal, but it needs strong development to be used effectively at this point. Kipper's fourth pitch is his curveball, which sets up his slider, but still needs strong development.
Kipper has made some adjustments to his mechanics, helping add a few miles per hour velocity and bring a little extra arm action in to play. With that, Kipper has also added better command.
At Mountain Point High School, Kipper was a three letter winner. Kipper was teammate of Kevin Cron (C.J.'s brother), and played with him at TCU as well. Kipper earned honors as a 2011 Perfect Game All-West Region honorable mentions, 2010 Perfect Game underclassman high honorable mention, and All-American honors. Kipper's biggest moment was hitting a walkoff single in the Class 5A Division I Championship in his final high school at bat.
Kipper spent two seasons at Central Arizona College, where he held a 19-5 record. Kipper allowed 40 runs over 172.1 innings pitched (2.08 ERA), while striking out 149 (7.78 per nine). Kipper was named to second-team All-American honors as a sophomore, and was a first-team All-Conference Performer. Kipper was named the Central Arizona Male Athlete of the Year as a freshman.
Kipper shined in his senior season at TCU, posting a 3.23 ERA while limited batters to a .234 average. The Horned Frogs went 11-6 in games he pitched, and 10-2 in games he started. Kipper posted six quality outings in 12 starts, and was fourth on the Frogs pitching staff in innings pitched at 75.1. Kipper struck out 8.84 per nine, and he was named to the Big 12 Baseball Championships All-Tournament Team.
Kipper jumped into Rookie Ball out of the draft, and jumped well, posting a 2.73 ERA, and 3-2 record in 14 relief appearances. Kipper kept batters off the base paths well, putting up a 1.291 WHIP, allowing 8.9 hits per nine, and walking just 2.7. Kipper kept bats quiet, and weak, having three of his 26 hits allowed go for extra base (two doubles, home run), and had a 1.67 GO/AO rate.
In his final 11 appearances, Kipper held a 1.66 ERA, .204 against average, and 1.153 WHIP, while striking out 18 in 21.2 innings pitched. Nine of Kipper's 14 outings went scoreless, including eight of his last 11.
Kipper shined at the Rookie Ball level, and will more than likely make the leap to Class-A in 2015. He has age on his side, which means the Angels can work steadily with him, but that doesn't mean he could see time in High-A before the end of next season.
Kipper was drafted with the Majors as the future plan. With this being the plan, Kipper may take a steady route to the show, being coached the whole way. Kipper's current ETA for the show is 2018.
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Taylor Blake Ward is a Senior Publisher for InsideTheHalos.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.